- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 15, 2001

While Hillary was working on a plan to end racial profiling in New York her husband was in Florida playing golf at a restricted country club where no Jews or blacks need apply.

They ought to make a date to get together in one of their fine houses for dinner, and after dessert send out for the videos of "Gentleman's Agreement" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."

What's so maddening about this endless Clinton Tack-O-Rama is that most of us want to get beyond the Clintons. He's an ex-president now and she's merely a junior senator (although you couldn't tell that to Chuck Schumer). But they won't let us.

Bill Clinton knows that thumbing his putter at Jews and blacks will have very few repercussions for his or her political future. He's renting office space in Harlem, as it turns out, so he can revel in being "our first black president," as novelist Toni Morrison famously called him, on Lenox Avenue and play golf with the white folks in Boca Raton. But blacks and Jews, like everyone else, should count the spoons after the Clintons come to dinner.

There's nothing new about Bill Clinton playing golf where the only blacks are the folks who serve the drinks. When he was the governor of Arkansas he regularly played golf at the Country Club of Little Rock, and only after he was elected president could the club find a suitable candidate for its first black member, with an off-the-record deal that President Clinton would give him a job in Washington to keep him out of Arkansas.

Says columnist Camille Paglia to Newsweek: "We're getting Clinton now as he really is."

Ms. Paglia relates a Clinton conversation overheard at the popular New York restaurant Babbo last week. He laughed, along with others at former Sen. Bob Kerrey's table, at a gaggle of lesbian jokes.

Camille Paglia, a first amendment militant and lesbian who makes a point of defending everybody's right to tell jokes no matter how bad the taste, makes a different point. "What we're seeing here is what happens when the cocoon of the White House is stripped away," she says. "We've just never had a chance to overhear the kind of raunchy talk [Bill Clinton's] used to having with men." We can thank heaven for small courtesies.

Ms. Paglia is speaking only of the ex-prez, not Hillary. But as we learned long ago when we bought two for the price of one, Bill and Hill go together like a horse and carriage (or a mule and a plow, or a fish and a bicycle). But it's only fair to observe that he seems to have a sadistic streak of a more vivid hue than hers. When he pardoned the Puerto Rican terrorists in New York last year, everyone thought he was doing it to sew up the Puerto Rican vote for Hillary. He said it wasn't so, and she made a public point of objecting to the pardon. But it made sense at the time.

There's no ambiguity about the Marc Rich pardon. He didn't do it for her. While there are those who speculate that he's getting back at Rudolph Giuliani, who was an early prosecutor of Marc Rich, it may demonstrate his obliviousness to the pickle he put Hillary in he should have known how furious this would have made her New York constituents. Or maybe foisting Hillary on New York reveals Bill's instinctive delight in playing an Arkansas joke at New York's expense. Memories of Appomattox die hard down there.

Since there's only so much sympathy any wronged wife can expect, Bill may have other surprises for Hillary. His moving to Harlem looks like setting himself up for a career in New York, too. New Yorkers elect a governor next year.

Meanwhile, George W. the president the Democrats only yesterday wrote off as terminally dumb continues to lighten and brighten the tone in Washington. This is becoming evident far beyond the Beltway.

A marriage counselor who describes herself as "a diehard Democrat," argues on the Web site smartmarriage.com that whatever misgivings liberals may feel toward George W. they ought to appreciate what a "healthy role model" the First Couple is for married people.

"As I watched the inauguration, I felt my heart soften when I saw just how close he and his wife, Laura are," Judy Parejko writes. "Together, President and first lady Bush have the husband/wife differences that give marriage its spark. While he is competitive and athletic, she is soft-spoken and likes to read. When they danced and he fumbled they laughed at themselves. Couples in America need to see what a married couple happily married looks like."

Sounds corny. Is corny. Refreshing, too. It's just not as much fun to read (and write) about. But some of us have had more than our share of fun for a while.

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